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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  November 29, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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strength in community organizing, a fact on vivid display in the election. especially on election day, itself. harry truman did it for herbert hoover. maybe this president could do it for mitt romney. give him a job he can do well. it would set just the right tone for the second term. that's what i care about. we ain't getting anything done until the two parties try to find some common ground out there. and that's going to be the story of the next couple weeks. can they or can't they? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. john boehner wants cost cutting details from the president? tonight, details on the speaker's shell game. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> the white house, this is not a game. i'm disappointed in what's happened. >> the speaker of the house is disappointed. he's also deceptive and dishonest. >> democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts. >> tonight, richard wolffe on today's nonsense from
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republicans and where a deal on the fiscal cliff stands. and former health insurance executive wendell potter on what obama's proposed $340 billion in medicare cuts will mean for seniors. vice president joe biden stumps for the middle class at a retail store that treats its workers right. i'll talk costco and fiscal cliff with steve greenhouse of "the new york times." plus hostess executives tank their company and cost the people their jobs. so why are they still demanding millions of dollars in bonuses? and we'll tell you how senator john mccain fits in with congressman louie gohmert's latest conspiracy theory. >> this administration sent planes and bombs and support to oust gadhafi so al qaeda and the muslim brotherhood could take over libya. good to have you with us tonight, folks.
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republicans are walking tall in public but hanging their heads behind closed doors. john boehner struck a defiant tone during a news conference today. he blamed the president and democrats for stalling negotiations on a debt deal. >> despite the claims that the president supports a balanced approach, the democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts. and secondly, no substantive progress has been made in the talks between the white house and the house over the last two weeks. >> tough talk. it's also completely divorced from reality. right before the news conference, boehner met with treasury secretary tim geithner who offered republicans a detailed plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. it included $1.6 trillion in new revenue from tax hikes on the rich. the white house is giving $400 billion in savings from medicare and entitlements. there's also a request for at least $50 billion in infrastructure spending, mortgage relief, and other stimulus measures. none of this is a surprise to
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the republicans. this is what president obama campaigned on. it's also what republicans have been presented behind closed doors for weeks. "politico" reported on the deal taking shape behind the scenes. it includes most of the same details the white house has in its proposal. according to "politico" house republican leaders recognize president obama holds the high cards and the public is likely to blame republicans if negotiations blow up and the new year begins with a fiscal disaster. the facts didn't stop speaker boehner from claiming the white house is holding up negotiations. >> majority leader and i just had a meeting with the treasury secretary. it was frank, and it was direct. i was hopeful we'd see a specific plan for cutting spending. >> the treasury secretary's proposal seems pretty specific. it even includes $400 billion in specific cuts. but john boehner sees something different. >> we know what the menu is. what we don't know is what the
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white house is willing to do to get serious about solving our debt crisis. >> so what is this all about? i mean, i guess john boehner has his own definition of specifics. according to the john boehner dictionary, specifics means, having all the attributes john boehner agrees with and nothing he doesn't like. keep in mind, this is the same boehner who said $38 billion in cuts was the largest real dollar spending cut in american history. when boehner got those cuts last year, he called himself a pretty happy man. what a difference an election makes. senate minority leader, majority leader, harry reid, doesn't understand what boehner is thinking. >> i don't understand his brain, so you should ask him. okay? >> white house press secretary jay carney explained the real reason a deal hasn't been reached yet. >> we're not there yet because the remaining obstacle here is on the revenue side, is that
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republicans, at least republican leaders, have yet to accept the essential fact that in order to achieve the kinds of revenue that are necessary for a balanced proposal, balanced plan, rates on the top 2%, the top, the wealthiest earners in this country, are going up. >> republicans are buckling. the democrats know it. here's new york senator chuck schumer saying what republicans don't want to hear. >> we don't expect the republicans to be enthusiastic and start cheerleading about a deal that includes higher rates on the wealthiest americans. they're not going to openly concede on this point this far out from the deadline, but they see the handwriting on the wall. >> and the handwriting on the wall is spelling out three words. congressman tom cole. the conservative from oklahoma was the first republican to admit the gop should pass the democrats' bill to extend the tax cuts on income over $250,000. other republicans are joining cole's ranks.
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>> if you're going to sign me up with a camp, i like what tom cole has to say. i know you had him on the show earlier at length. i think tom presented a very thoughtful, articulate position. >> republican senator john thun of south dakota dropped the bomb on fox news. >> are republicans willing to hold the line to say to the president, i am sorry, we will never agree to a deal that involves an increase in taxes? are they? >> i think any deal that passes up here that raises taxes and raises taxes, as i mentioned earlier, on small businesses, martha, is not going to enjoy a republican support. now, there may be enough republicans who would vote for something like that to pass it in the house of representatives. >> well, if there are enough republican votes to pass the bill, the game's over, isn't it? republicans are facing the inevitable, it seems like. nebraska congressman lee terry told the "omaha" newspaper, we're screwed either way, we really have no leverage in these discussions. we also learned today gop leaders were actually polling their members in the house to
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see exactly what sort of tax hikes they would go along with, that they would support. this is a whole lot of wiggle room for the republicans at this point, and it certainly isn't any game plan for them if they're out polling their own members this late in the game. this is why john boehner went out and lied to the american people in the press today. he doesn't know what the heck is going on, he doesn't know where his caucus is. he knows the white house put out hard numbers on the table an all he can do is pretend they don't exist. republicans can talk a big game in front of the cameras, but behind closed doors and at the negotiating table, they're just not very strong. boehner is one of these guys who likes to play golf at the country club then after he plays golf at the country club, have a couple drinks, sit down and play poker. i want to give the speaker credit today. he had a pretty good poker face on today. for a moment he was kind of convincing. but we all know the truth. the obama team has put the budget in front of him. he knows what the cuts are.
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for him to go in front of the american public and be disingenuous about he doesn't know what the specifics are is a flat-out lie. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, who is john boehner fooling? text a., for no one, b. for himself to 622639. always go to our blog at we'll bring you the results later on in the show. joining me now, richard wolffe, not a card player, but msnbc political analyst and vice president, executive editor of i thought it was an academy award performance by boehner today. >> pretty good, huh? >> he knows what the numbers are, don't you think? >> he knows what the numbers are and what the other side is holding here. he has to pretend like he fought for something. he has no leverage. tom cole isn't just a guy from oklahoma. he led the republican conference. that's the ideological core, those are the sort of torch holders for the whole movement. and so when tom cole says, we got to go with what we've got here, we have to take what we got, going to declare victory
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and move on, that's how it's going to play out. and tom cole didn't say that once. i know it kind of got leaked but he said it over and over and over again. and here's the deal. they're not going to vote for a tax raise. that's not the vote that's going to be in front of them. the vote in front of them is going to be to cut taxes. taxes will rise anyway. the bush tax cuts will expire. then they'll bring in legislation saying let's cut taxes for the middle class and every republican out there including john boehner will say i voted for a tax cut, not a tax hike. >> well, here's tom cole speaking with chuck todd about cole's advice to pass the tax extensions for 98% of americans. here it is. rather comical. >> that advice was given in private, but you guys have a way of figuring aue ining out what? said in private. somebody leaked it out. that's fine. >> you didn't intend for this to go public? >> no. >> you did not -- this is something you were -- okay. >> but, again, it is what i said. it's not an inaccurate report. >> i mean, did republican leaders want cole's advice to be leaked?
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>> of course they did. i mean, and if they didn't want it to be leaked, they wanted it to be repeated. so john boehner has wiggle room. he can look like he's the tough guy to the tea party folks who have to vote him back in as speaker. tom cole is really laying out the policy. if they wanted to shut him up, he would have been shut up. and so, where does this leave them? they're not going to play the card on the debt ceiling because that was a disaster for them. they're going to say, you know what, we tried to say the democrats were not serious about spending cuts, but they have no option. they lost the election. you know, republican voters were lied to about the state of the polls. they were lied to about the state of america. and if they want to believe that this is the only path that only spending cuts will get them to deficit reduction, they can carry on believing that or get to a place where they're going to get re-elected. >> richard, i think the president is offering a great deal to the republicans. here's why. these guys can go home 98% and say, you know what, 98% of you, i got the tax cuts. i didn't raise your taxes.
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oh, by the way, my base, you wealthy folks over here, look what obama did to you. he raised your taxes. that's only going to infuriate the wealthy even more. the fact here is is that he has given them something they can campaign on plus they can turn around and say, these are his cuts to medicare, not ours. i don't now why they don't take this deal for the good of the country and come back and fight another day. >> to say democrats are not serious about entitlements, $400 billion of cuts to medicare is a cut to entitlements. that's going to mean hardship for seniors. that's a real cut. now, you can pretend like the hospitals are going to swallow all of that cost cut. they're not. they're going to pass that on. that means less health care. those are real dollars. and so you can say that democrats are not serious, but $400 billion to most people, that's real money. >> well, the obama team is saying they can find these costs in inefficiencies and providers. that's where they're going to go. they keep pushing the idea there's no question it's not
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going to hurt the benefits. this is the devil in detail. >> okay. >> the point being here is he has $340 billion on the table, maybe to $400 billion on the table in the cuts and boehner goes out in front of the american people and denies there are specifics on the table. >> right. remember, most of the bush cuts survived this kind of deal. you know, when you look at the overall package, there's going to be talk about let's have tax reform, let's go after entitlements. this is -- this is a real deal for republicans. they're not going to turn it down because there's nowhere else to go. otherwise, all the tax cuts go. >> you mean they're just going to wait until december 23rd, we're going have this drama until -- >> they want to go home. >> eat turkey for the holidays. i get it. richard wolffe. great to have you with us as always. answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter @edshow and on facebook. president obama and republicans have different ideas
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of getting savings out of medicare. wendell potter for the center of public integrity will join me with the facts. stay tuned. talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family. ancr: aarp is cutting through all the political spin. because for our 37 million members, only one word counts. get the facts at let's keep medicare... and social security strong for generations to come.
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coming up, vice president joe biden looks out for the middle class at a store that does the same. coming up, how costco is big business done right. with steven greenberg of "the new york times." the righties are going nuts with a brand new conspiracy theory. a sitting member of congress says the president is propping up al qaeda? and speaking of conspiracy theories, is there a hidden meaning in the knphoto of the president and mitt romney in the oval office today? an "ed show" investigation, my friends, is ahead. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using #edshow. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us. introducing the business smart inkjet all-in-one series
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democrats like to pretend as though they're the great protecters of social security, medicare, and medicaid. they make solemn pledges all the time about how they won't even entertain a discussion about reform. >> and we are back. that's senate minority leader mitch mcconnell saying democrats won't even entertain a discussion of reforming entitlement programs? simply not true. democrats want to extend the life of these programs. the real issue is what kind of reform are you talking about? medicare is central to the discussion because republicans want to cut benefits. or raise the eligibility age. president obama has a plan to get savings out of medicare on the provider side. it's obviously an important distinction. president obama's 2013 budget would cut $340 billion out of medicare over 10 years primarily
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through these 4 methods. requiring drugmakers to pay rebates to medicare in some circumstances. and they want to reduce costs by discouraging hospitals from releasing patients too early and then readmitting them which is more expensive. also, reducing coverage of bad debts of hospitals and nursing homes. and charging higher premiums to high-income beneficiaries. there is nothing in those four measures which raises the eligibility age or cuts benefits to medicare recipients. today, we got further confirmation about the administration's proposal in the fiscal cliff negotiations. medicare and other entitlements would be cut by $400 billion over 10 years. let's bring in wendell potter, to sort it out. mr. potter is a columnist for the center for public integrity and "the huffington post" and author of the book "deadly spin." wendell, great to have you back with us here on "the ed show." >> thank you, ed.
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>> sort this out for us. when the white house says it has in its budget a cut of $340 billion, maybe up to $400 billion, is that going to hit beneficiaries? is that going to affect people that go in and see the doctor? >> no, not nearly as much as it would if they were to raise the eligibility age to 67 which is not on the table and it shouldn't be. or cutting benefits. and these cuts or reductions in payments are not targeted to doctors. at least at this point. they are to hospitals and to nursing homes and home health agencies. as you said, drugmakers. and these are areas that the medicare payment advisory commission has long said need to be -- these are cuts that should be made and has been, need to be made for some time now. >> now, i'm told by my sources on capitol hill that if you were to run the veterans administration the way they do their drug system, as opposed to medicare, that you would find
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instantly $150 billion. is that correct? >> that's true, because the v.a. has the ability to negotiate prices with the drugmakers. and the medicare part "d" program, prescription "d" program doesn't have that because of the way the law was passed and republicans wouldn't go along with that. so we have a lot of ability here to reduce unnecessary spending by doing some things that would make a lot of sense just like the v.a. does it. >> so what do you make of the republicans saying they don't see the hard numbers? they don't see the cuts? >> they're just being very disingenuous and they don't want to be the ones to bring a plan to the table. and they're going to have to do that when it comes right down to it, because the president has laid out something that does reduce the entitlement program significantly. and now it's going to be up to the republicans to say if this -- the president to say if this is not good enough, then tell us what is. >> so one republican talking point is that doctors will no longer take medicare patients
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because of obama care and oathe measures. what's your assessment of that? >> i don't think that's the case at all. in fact, this doesn't actually increase the number of medicare beneficiaries and it doesn't reduce payments to doctors. so that shouldn't occur at all. and what we will see is that the medicaid program will be broadened and that will be one of the ways that more americans will be coming into coverage. that's separate from what we're talking about here now. >> yeah. >> but that's a good way to expand the coverage to low-income individuals. >> what about the $716 billion in savings that was already taken to fund obama care? this was, of course, a big political football back and forth on the campaign trail. how does that play into the budget at this point? >> well, that number would presumably, as i understand it, would continue to go forward. that represents a reduction in medicare spending of $716 billion over 10 years. and that, too, would come out of
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hospitals and other health care providers, not doctors necessarily. and also health insurers. health insurance companies have been paid many billions of dollars over the years to participate in something called a medicare add vantavantage pro. that needs -- those overpayments need to end, and that would end under this program. >> i think we're seeing the republican ideology play out in this budget fight because they really don't want these programs. they want to get a chunk of them now and then the whole thing later on it seems like. they're all about privatization. and the eligibility age of medicare, if it were to go up, do you think the democrats would ever go with that? not now, but down the road? >> i don't think so. i don't think they should, either. it makes no sense. one thing, if you do that, you're taking really the healthiest medicare beneficiaries out of the pool. >> sure. >> and you're putting them at risk. they would have to go back in the private market and pay the
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highest premiums, much more than they would pay. it's doing nothing more than shifting costs. it's not taking costs out of the system. >> wendell potter, great to have you with us here on "the ed show" tonight. great resource to this subject. thank you. joe biden heads to costco and talks up the middle class tax cut. costco has a history of being on the side of the middle class. and i'll talk with "new york times" reporter steven greenhouse about that and much more. then, a bankruptcy judge has baked up a very sweet deal for the highest paid executives at hostess. but the employees, they're getting burned. we'll talk about that. it's not twinkie heaven. when we come back. restore revive rejuvenate rebuild rebuild rebuild
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in all honesty, i didn't have my own card. jill wouldn't let me have one. >> he's a regular old joe at the store, right? joe biden, vice president. earlier today, baembarking on a shopping spree at the discount warehouse, costco. to demonstrate a surge in consumer confidence, biden flashed his membership card and picked up a few items including flowers, children's books, fire logs, 32 inch panasonic tv. and a large apple pie. biden tried to -- tried some free samples as well. he chatted with employees and shook hands with shoppers. the visit to washington, d.c.'s, first costco store provided a great opportunity for the vice president to push for an extension of the middle class tax cuts. >> look around here.
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people are -- consumer confidence is growing. and the last thing we need to do is dash that now by being unable to extend the middle class tax cuts. thanks for shopping with me. >> thank you. >> i know you won't tell anybody what i bought for christmas. >> it's important to note some costco executives have ties to the democratic party. the wife of costco co-founder jeff brattman is an obama bundler. the co-founder is a longtime democratic donor who defended president obama's economic record at the democratic national convention. but his business model has always been on the side of the worker, unlike walmart and sam's club with its history of union busting, low wages and benefits. sinigal says treating employees well is good business. costco pays itself workers more, too. costco cfo, richard galanti told "the ed show" employees get $20.50 an hour on average, that's about 40 grand a year.
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health benefits are offered to full and part-time employees with workers paying only about 10% of their premiums out of pocket. let's turn to steve greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for "the new york times" and the author of "the big squeeze." great to have you here tonight, mr. greenhouse. what do you make of the symbolism, and i believe it's symbolism that the vice president went to costco today to make a statement about the middle class but also how to treat workers. >> i think it's a twofer or threefer for biden and the white house. it's important to go out and shop, important to stimulate the economy. if we're going to pick a store, let's go to costco which is known for treating its workers better than basically any general retailer in the country. i've been covering labor for a few years for "the new york times" and a few years ago, several people were saying, you should take a look at costco. they really do remarkable job in how they treat their workers. so i went out to their headquarters in washington. i spent a day with that gentleman next to biden, mr.
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seni fwrks senigal, co-founder of the company. his father was a steelworker. he grew up in pittsburgh. i figured he was sympathetic to unions. he grew up catholic. he said, no, no, that's not why i treat our workers well. we're not the little sisters of the poor. he said it's good business. he said treating workers well mean they work hard for you, there's far less turnover. the typical costco worker who's been there more than a year stays on average 17 years. costco is known for having far less theft than most retailers. and he says when someone has to put the huggies on the shelf in the middle of the night they know exactly where to put it unlike some other companies where there is huge turnover and every six months you have new employees. >> let's talk about that turnover. they do not have the turnover the other retailer has, walmart and sam's club. but walmart and sam's club makes more money than costco. so it's a philosophy here that
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we're seeing play out. big can be better if it's done right. >> yes. we often talk about high roads and low roads. and senigal, when i interviewed him, he said, i asked him, why do you treat your workers so well? he said, we have rock-bottom prices. the last thing i want is shoppers to come in and think, senigal, you're running a sweat shop, you pay your workers like dirt. he said, therefore, i'm going to pay my workers the best of any retailer in the country. so he's able to do that by getting the workers to work really hard. he has all these kind of retailing tricks, you know, he saves money. you go into a costco, you know, it's not fancy. there's cement floors. he spends no money on advertising. most retailers spend 2% of their revenues on advertising. that enables him to cut costs. he's very ingenious in how he stocks the store. >> how do they compare in walmart, i mean, in operation? >> the typical costco warehouse
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sells around, i think around twice as much as the typical sam's club per square foot. and jim senigal is always proud of that. he said there might be a dispute about who charges less but there's no dispute in how they treat their workers. >> this is the perfect play for the obama team to go to a big retailer like this when consumer confidence is up. middle classers all over the place. to talk about these tax cuts. to show that this is where people shop. this is how you treat workers. i mean, it really is the perfect -- the perfect presentation for the obama team at this point. >> in many ways you're right. last week i was covering these protests at walmart and i interviewed numerous walmart workers who said we've been there three years, five years, ten years, making $8, $9, $10, $11 an hour. you just put up that number. at costco, if you work there 4 1/2 years you're making generally $20.50 an hour.
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and then they kick in another $4,000, $5,000 to your 401(k). an amazing thing is the typical costco worker there 4 1/2 years is making as much as the typical walmart assistant store manager. >> steve greenhouse, "new york times." great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay right with us. >> it's over. >> no more twinkies? >> this is it. >> hostess executives demand huge bonuses while 18,000 people get fired. congressman jim mcdermott responds, next. gdp is up, and unemployment is down. and this congress is the most unproductive in history. we'll break down the numbers. and congressman louie gohmert goes off the deep end again. we'll tell you how senator john mccain fits into his newest conspiracy theory. >> this administration sent planes and bombs in support to oust gadhafi so that al qaeda
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welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching tonight. now, it's not the powerball jackpot, but these folks it's probably pretty close. hostess brands won big in bankruptcy court today. bottom line, the twinkie will survive. the executives will get their bonuses, but the workers, they're out of luck. federal bankruptcy judge has approved hostess' plan to go out of business and fire more than 18,000 employees. at the same time, hostess won an approval to pay $1.8 million in bonuses to its 19 executives. by the way, those bonuses don't include the ceo's regular salary which is currently $125,000 a month. hostess has touched off a wave of nostalgia when it announced it was going out of business last month. people started worrying about the future of the twinkie. many blamed the workers. >> you know, something like a
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union can take them down, and we're losing, you know, an icon company. so, you know, it's a pretty big deal. >> all my life i've been eating hostess cakes. i don't know what i'm going to do without them being here. this is going to be a sad moment for me. >> it's going to be a tragedy, you know, my kids can't grow up to hostess cake. >> they're comfort to me. i've grew up with them since i was a kid. i've been eating them and i'm really, i'm going to miss them. >> well, first of all, rest assured, folks, the twinkie is going to be just fine. hostess has been losing money for decades. nobody seemed to like the twinkie until hostess declared bankruptcy. now the brand's a hot commodity. hostess is courting, count them, 110 potential buyers. 70 of these 110 potential buyers are so serious they've signed nondisclosure agreements to go over the books. hostess says it's got ten calls from interested buyers just yesterday. one of the company's financial advisers says, "not only are these buyers serious, but they are expecting to spend
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substantial sums." he says there are so many interested buyers it's "like drinking from a fire house." trust me, the twinkie brand is going to be just fine. the executives will get paid despite their mismanagement. but the workers who built the brand are really getting hurt. more than 18,000 workers across the country are losing their jobs right now. right before the holidays. some have been given 20 or 30 years to the company. that kind of service to them and loyalty. they've been without health care coverage since december 1st. hostess also stopped paying pensions to them last year. hostess executives drive an iconic brand into bankruptcy twice. they're getting paid big bucks. the workers made concessions. and they basically prayed for better management that never showed up. tonight, they are out of a job. i'm joined by congressman jim mcdermott of washington, member
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of the house ways & means committee. great to have you back on the program. >> great to be back, ed. >> your state is going to lose some jobs because of this hostess liquidation, but what message does it send? you have these ceos up on capitol hill that are telling lawmakers how the economy ought to run, what we ought to be doing with all these tax cuts and this is the culture that just goes right down on the workers. what do you make of it? >> well, ed, this is a perfect example of what mismanagement in a company is all about. and how venture capitalists never intended to run this business to work. the bakers would not give concessions because they said you have not made improvements for 60 years, and if you'd make improvements, this place would run much better, you'd make much more profit and you could keep the place open. but the management was more interested in selling it than what they went into bankruptcy twice and came out worse the first time than they were when
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they went in. and now they come out and they get the judge to give them $1,800,000 a year bonus to keep the lights on so they have some place for people to send in the 110 people who want to buy the business. the brand is good. the product is good. it's the management that is just really worthless. >> so they didn't invest in infrastructure in the company or new technology that would have made them more profitable. and yet the unions are taking the hit publicly saying, well, it's their fault they put them out of business. what do you make of that? >> well, it's typical. always blame the workers. the fact is if you don't invest in your business, if you don't continue to make reinvestment, like the president is talking about for the country -- >> sure. >> -- we have to continue to reinvest in the country. well, if a business doesn't continue to reinvest in new equipment and modernize, they will ultimately go bankrupt. and this is a perfect example. you've got costco where they
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invest back in, they invest in their workers, they invest in the way they market, everything else, and it works. but you have hostess where they don't, and it goes down. it's really sad. >> it is. it's really wrong. it's mismanagement across -- i think there's a moral component to this, too. surprising to me that the bankruptcy judge will go along and give these 19 executives who are probably going to get inherited by the next company to come along that they would get $1.8 million in bonuses. now, the -- what about the tax incentives? will that have helped save companies like hostess? and, of course, we have to point out the gop killed invest in america act. >> there are a lot of things we could do with the tax structure that could make this situation much harder for businesses to two into bankruptcy. they go in there and they strip off the benefits. they strip off the pensions. united airlines has done that to their employees. there's all kinds of companies who use bankruptcy as a way of
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taking away benefits from workers. that's not fair. when i fly home on the united airlines from washington, d.c., there are all these flight attendants working at age 60 years old for one reason. they still have their health care benefits. >> yeah. >> their husbands don't. that's a terrible situation in this country. >> it's happening in a lot of industries. it's the corporate culture that is strangling workers in this country and this is a classic example. still a hot brand, but not hot for the employee. congressman jim mcdermott, great to have you with us tonight. thanks. coming up, good news for the economy, in spite of the do-nothing congress. we will break down the numbers next. it's rather astonishing. [ male announcer ] this is steve.
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better yet, forgive my student loans so i can put my 2k back into the economy. richard sanders says, my 2k allows me to pay for my health insurance premium. and ralph from new york say, i will use my $2,000 to get romney a dog sitter the next time he takes a road trip. keep sharing your thoughts with us on facebook and twitter using #edshow. coming up, louie gohmert, congressman out of texas, shares his latest conspiracy theory about the president in libya. so what does john mccain have to do with all of this? find out. it's the "big finish" tonight. governor of getting it done. you know how to dance... with a deadline. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. this is awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is.
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and we are back. new data today proves president obama can turn things around even as the republicans in congress continue to do nothing. so how do we prove it? let's start with jobs. the number of americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000 last week. as expected, initial
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unemployment claims surged after hurricane sandy devastated parts of the northeast. but today's numbers, from the department of labor, show the second straight week of decline. evidence of steady improvement in the labor market. the good news keeps on coming. the commerce department reports economic growth of the third quarter was actually better than first reported. the initial estimate had a gdp growth of just 2%. this morning the commerce department revised its estimates to show growth of 2.7%. that's the best gdp figure since the end of 2011 and the second best of the last three years. so things are looking up. president obama has an improving economy on his hands in spite of all the do-nothing congress that's going on in washington. anyone who still thinks that the term "do-nothing congress" is just a little too harsh, take a look at this. 906 bills were r passed from january 1947 through december of 1948.
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by the body that president harry truman listed and labeled as the do-nothing congress. the current congress with one month to go has passed 196 bills. by far the lowest number since the united states house clerks office began keeping track. keep in mind, one of the bills the republicans blocked was the american jobs act which could have added up to 1.3 million jobs by the end of the year. america is on the road to recovery no thanks to republicans, no thanks to their obstructionist attitude and behavior. but imagine where we'd be if they had just said, we'll work with you, mr. president, on jobs. tonight in our survey, i asked, who is john boehner fooling? 57% of you say no one. 43% of you say himself. next, republican congressman louie gohmert has a long history of wild conspiracy theories, but his latest one, well, it takes the cake. democratic strategist tara
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dowdell is here with reaction. [ emily jo ] derrell comes into starbucks with his wife, danielle, almost every weekend. derrell hasn't been able to visit his mom back east in a long time. [ shirley ] things are sometimes a little tight around the house. i wasn't able to go to the wedding. [ emily jo ] since derrell couldn't get home, we decided to bring home to him and then just gave him a little bit of help finding his way. ♪ [ laughs ] [ applause ] i love you. i love you, too.
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more u.s. involvement. >> are you saying take nato out of it and put the united states in? >> no, have nato remain in, all seven of our allies were willing to, but the united states has got to get its assets back into the air fight. and we've got to do it very strenuously. >> assets into the air fight. meaning air war. our planes and our guys. right? well, let's get this on the record. john mccain supported u.s. air strikes in libya, but now a year and a half later, one republican is using the air strikes to attack president obama. texas congressman louie gohmert has cooked up a wild conspiracy theory about bombing libya. >> this administration sent planes and bombs and support to oust gadhafi so that al qaeda and the muslim brotherhood could take over libya. >> what? the administration, john mccain, and other republicans wanted u.s. air strikes on libya?
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they did it to oust a dictator who had american blood on his hands and was murdering his own people. and this crackpot from texas wants you to believe president obama was trying to help al qaeda? it's important to remember louie gohmert isn't a right wing blogger or a fox news host. he is a sitting united states congressman from texas. this guy has a very long and ugly history of disgusting rhetoric on a number of issues. >> i'm sure that there are people here who think abortion is okay. i don't want to make you sick, but i brought an abortion to show you today. when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy, homosexuality to be overt. they're toward the end of their existence as a great nation. >> they would have young women
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who became pregnant would get them into the united states to have a baby. they wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby. and then they would return back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists. and then one day 20, 30 years down the road, they could be sent in to help destroy our way of life because they figured out how stupid we are being. >> that kind of conversation and conspiracy theories are commonplace for certain republicans but for some reason, they just always seem to get away with it. for more, let's turn to democratic consultant tara dowdell. tara, is this something we're going to have to put up with that they're never going to change, they can't stand president obama so much that this is operating procedure as normal for them? >> it certainly seems to be. this is valely unreal. i don't think louie gohmert should even be in congress. this is, because the problem here, ed, is not just he's saying these crazy things. the problem is some people are
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listening and believing these crazy things. they're saying this is a sitting congressman. he's gotten elected to congress. there's obviously stature associated with being in congress. for some people they're saying he wouldn't be saying this stuff if there weren't some merit to it. it's dangerous. remember, he was the one that went after houma abidean, hillary clinton's aide in the secretary of state office and accused her of being aligned with the brotherhood. she needed additional security. this man is irresponsible and dangerous. the fact he's serving in congress is disturbing to me. >> there are a number of conspiracy theories on the president. the birther nonsense, the muslim theory, he's a socialist, he's a communist. now they think he's trying to repeal the 22nd amendment so he can win a third term. what about that? >> it just doesn't get any more bizarre. i have to tell you, i have a little bit of a different take besides the fact i think louie gohmert is obviously a bit crazy. i think he's also a narcissist.
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this man lives on television. he lives on radio. he is on all the time. that's why we're hearing all these conspiracy theories. you know what would be great, if he spent half the time he spent on tv spinning these wild theories on working on helping to fix the country and the problems that are wrong with this country. and the fact he spends so much time on these other things shows me he doesn't really care. >> you think there's a racial component to all of these conspiracy theories? >> i absolutely do, because they all seem to have reached a crescendo once president obama was elected. so i don't see how people could think there's not a racial component. and it's unfortunate, though, when you point that out, they want to push back and say you're using the race card, but the reality is that the attacks on this president are unprecedented. the reality is, also, that he's needed security and had more secret service threats against him based on race than anybody else in the history of the presidency. and those are real issues and louie gohmert is playing into it and that's also what makes this so irresponsible. >> you think their hatred for the president plays out in the legislative processes as well?
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i know it does. i mean, i believe it does. they, 368 filibusters. i mean, they don't want anything to do through from his agenda. they come up with the wildest conspiracy theories that we've ever heard. now, of course, the bombing of libya. i mean, it's pretty outrageous. how -- do you think in some certain ways that this is a motivating factor for the progressive base? >> i do. i think it definitely motivates our base because people see how unfair these attacks are. even if you don't agree with everything the president is doing or saying, people see that the attacks on him are baseless. talking about his birth certificate. why are we still talking about this? and i was personally insulted when the president had to show his birth certificate. >> yeah. >> i mean, that's so wrong. >> tara dowdell. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. a quick update on a story we did last night. president obama and mitt romney had their private lunch at the white house. the white house released t


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